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I thought I had a massive bruise but it turned out to be a deadly tumor

WHEN Siobhan Harrison saw a pimple on her chest, she thought she just had a pimple.

The sign was pretty high up, so she tried to pop it – and thought nothing of it.

Siobhan Harrison spotted a pimple high up on her chest and decided to pop it

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Siobhan Harrison spotted a pimple high up on her chest and decided to pop itCredit: PA Real Life
The 23-year-old was stunned when she was diagnosed with breast cancer

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The 23-year-old was stunned when she was diagnosed with breast cancerCredit: PA Real Life
The bump had been high up on her chest, so she figured it was just a pimple

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The bump had been high up on her chest, so she figured it was just a pimpleCredit: PA Real Life

But the lump only got bigger and the 23-year-old thought it was because she had made it worse.

Eventually she decided to see the doctor, but was told there was a nine-month waiting list.

At a private appointment she was told it could be cancer and went for an NHS biopsy on 22 June 2021.

To her shock, she was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer.

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She is now urging all women, regardless of age, to know the signs of breast cancer – as she figured she was not at risk because of her age.

When Siobhan first got her results from the biopsy, she said she thought it was just going to be a cyst.

She said: “I was so upset. It grew rapidly and the lump was now over 2 cm in size. The doctors scheduled me for an operation the following week, everything went very quickly.”

In July 2021, she went under the knife for a lumpectomy to remove the cancerous mass in her left breast.

She said: “When I was recovering from the surgery, my counselor told me the next step would be chemotherapy but said there was a possibility it could affect my fertility.

“So before I started treatment, I had an egg retrieval in case I became infertile after chemo.”

In August she started chemotherapy and during the first round she started losing her hair.

Additionally, she said the treatment completely wiped her out.

“Even though I knew I was going to lose my hair, I didn’t expect it to hit me so badly, so I bought a wig to make me feel a little more like myself.

If I can encourage other people to look for knots, then I have achieved my goal. I just don’t want other people to go through the same ordeal as me

Siobhan Harrison

“My doctor decided to change my treatment slightly so that I had more chemo at lower doses and that has helped me a lot.

“I had 12 rounds of chemotherapy before quitting in December 2021. Then, in the New Year, I had two weeks of radiation therapy,” she added.

The surgery meant the Siobhan was cancer free, but she still had further preventative treatment as she was at risk of the disease returning.

She said: “The treatment worked and I got the all-clear in the spring of this year. Since then, I’ve been doing a study where my blood is tested for cancer cells every few weeks. So far everything has become clear again.

“As difficult as it has been I am so grateful to be on the other side of treatment now and I am now focused on improving my fitness having returned to work in March.

“All the NHS staff who have treated me have been so supportive and helpful, I am very grateful to them as well.”

She now has to go for annual check-ups to make sure the cancer doesn’t come back.

What Are the Breast Cancer Symptoms in Women?

For most women, the first sign or symptom of breast cancer is a lump or area of ​​thickened tissue in their breasts.

Although 90 percent of these lumps aren’t cancerous, it’s important to get them checked out by your GP as soon as possible — detecting the disease early can mean treatment is more effective.

It’s therefore crucial to be “breast aware” – knowing what feels normal to you and what changes to look out for.

One in three women don’t check their breasts regularly, and a fifth of these women say it’s because they don’t know how.

Although the majority of women know that they feel unusual lumps and bumps, there are other, lesser-known signs and symptoms as well.

Now she wants to encourage young women to examine their breasts.

She said: “I never thought I could be diagnosed with cancer so young, it was such a shock to me and my family.

“I want to encourage young women to regularly check their breasts for lumps because you really don’t know what could happen.

“I’m unfortunate enough to have cancer, but in a way I’m also lucky that my lump was clearly visible and I was able to get a private scan quickly. I’m afraid to imagine what might have happened if it had gone undetected.

“I just had a scare last week when I thought I’d found another lump and wanted to have it checked out. Luckily it wasn’t a cause for concern, but it made me realize that fear will always be with me.

“If I can encourage others to look for knots, then I have achieved my goal. I just don’t want other people to go through the same ordeal as me.”

Nikki Barraclough, Executive Director at Prevent Breast Cancer, said this awareness helped save Siobhan’s life.

A spokesman for the Teenage Cancer Trust said you should listen to your body and seek medical help if something doesn’t feel right.

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“It’s probably not cancer, but it’s always best to get it checked out, so make an appointment with your GP to discuss your concerns.

“If you feel like you’re not getting the answers you need, keep going back because when a patient consistently raises concerns, medical professionals should listen and take them seriously.”

In her experience, Siobhan now encourages all women - regardless of age - to examine their breasts

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In her experience, Siobhan now encourages all women – regardless of age – to examine their breastsCredit: PA Real Life

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